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Variation Of The Meiotic Recombination Landscape And Properties Over A Broad Evolutionary Distance In Yeasts

By Christian Brion, Sylvain Legrand, Jackson Peter, Claudia Caradec, David Pflieger, Jing Hou, Anne Friedrich, Bertrand Llorente, Joseph Schacherer

Posted 17 Mar 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/117895 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006917)

Meiotic recombination is a major factor of genome evolution, deeply characterized in only a few model species, notably the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Consequently, little is known about variations of its properties across species. In this respect, we explored the recombination landscape of Lachancea kluyveri, a protoploid yeast species that diverged from the Saccharomyces genus more than 100 million years ago and we found striking differences with S. cerevisiae. These variations include a lower recombination rate, a higher frequency of chromosomes segregating without any crossover and the absence of recombination on the chromosome arm containing the sex locus. In addition, although well conserved within the Saccharomyces clade, the S. cerevisiae recombination hotspots are not conserved over a broader evolutionary distance. Finally and strikingly, we found evidence of frequent reversion of meiotic commitment to mitotic growth allowing allele shuffling without meiosis completion. Identification of this major but underestimated evolutionary phenomenon illustrates the relevance of exploring non-model species.

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